Millwall FC – Top 5 Players 2015

In the final instalment of three New Year specials, I take a look back at the players that have appeared for Millwall Football Club in the calendar year of 2015. There have been plenty of stinkers – Stefan Maierhofer, I’m looking at you – but who are the top 5 to have pulled on the blue shirt this year?

Find out below…

5) Lee Gregory

Appearances in 2015: 35 (14) – goals: 15 (at time of writing)

The number nine has divided opinion amongst Lions fans more than any other player in recent memory, but for me, in a year that has been quite difficult in the most, Gregory deserves his spot in the top five.

Brought to The Den by Ian Holloway in a deal worth £250,000 from Halifax, Gregory spent the majority of last season up front on his own, completely isolated from the play. Since the inception of the Harris regime, the striker has begun to blossom, scoring ten goals this season already, with his crowning moment being a quadruple of strikes in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy Southern Area Quarter Final tie with Plymouth Argyle, in which the Lions won 5-3.

Lee Gregory

An honest footballer, Gregory grafts for the good of the team and is regularly involved in the build-up to Millwall goals. For the fact that he has made a lot of appearances and scored the most goals this year alone, he deserves his place in the top five – no matter what others may choose to believe.

4) Steve Morison

Appearances: 25 (2) – goals: 7

The stand-in captain of the side makes number four on the list.

An ill-fated loan spell a couple of seasons ago meant that the news of Morison’s capture – mere days before the season began – was met with trepidation from some quarters, but for a large part of the season so far, the frontman’s form and attitude has been outstanding.

Even before the injury to Tony Craig against Bradford City on October 31st, a different Morison was noticeable – his willingness to work for the good of the team and to do the dirty work was clear for all to see. With regards to the goal tallies of the three strikers (Morison, O’Brien & Gregory), the Welshman currently sits bottom of the pile, but he has more than made up for that with some fantastic displays, as a senior member of the squad.

Steve Morison

He has produced moments of magic in front of goal, however – his strikes v Doncaster at The Den and at Southend in the JPT were superb. The fact that the manager had no qualms over giving him the armband for the rest of the season speaks volumes.

3) Mark Beevers

Appearances: 33 (2) – goals: 4

The towering centre-half sneaks inside the top three!

Bought from Sheffield Wednesday, Beevers has slowly made his way up the ladder at the club and is now (in my opinion, anyway) the best defender that we have in our possession.

Goals have dried up for the Yorkshireman recently, but the beginning of the season saw the defender net four times – all away from home (Port Vale, Wigan Athletic, Peterborough United and Blackpool). Despite that, he still remains an automatic selection for Neil Harris and rarely puts in a bad performance (apart from the Gillingham game on December 19th – but we won’t talk about that, Mark!)

There was talk of Beevers leaving the club to continue his career up north at the back end of last season and over the summer, but thankfully, he has decided to stay and carry on playing for Millwall.

Mark Beevers

If we are to mount any sort of promotion challenge in 2016, then the foundations for it will need to consist of a solid defence, among other things. With Mark Beevers in the team, I reckon there’s a chance of doing just that.

2) Aiden O’Brien

Appearances: 31 (8) – goals: 11

Just failing to make the top spot is the rising Irish star, Aiden O’Brien.

At the beginning of last season, O’Brien was no more than a bit-part player, making substitute appearances here and there, but at the close of 2015, the Irishman stands tall as one of the most important members of the team – and perhaps the most valuable currently, too.

The appointment of Neil Harris in March saw the striker thrust into the first XI nearly every week, as he attempted to form a partnership with Lee Gregory. Eventually, that partnership begun to blossom – especially in the away game at Brentford – but this season, the arrival of Steve Morison has seen O’Brien play in more of a wide role.

Aiden O'Brien

Despite that, the Irishman has turned in a number of outstanding performances and has changed games for the better. He has scored some fantastic goals – namely his second and third goals at Crewe, which gave him his first senior hat-trick (both goals were voted into my Top 5 Goals of 2015 list!), as well as strikes at home to Swindon and Northampton (JPT) – too.

He has gone off the boil over the last month, but for a young player that has burst on to the scene in the way he has, perhaps that is to be expected. Although, with Palace supposedly sniffing around him, maybe he hasn’t produced his best recently to push them away – I wouldn’t want to go there either, Aiden…

1) Jordan Archer

Appearances: 24 (0) – clean sheets: 9

At number one, I have chosen the player that I feel has benefitted the team the most over the year of 2015 – Jordan Archer.

David Forde has been a superb servant to Millwall Football Club over many years, but sometimes, players reach their peak and once they do, there is only one way to go – down.

After a few mishaps during the year, Harris replaced Forde with Archer for the game against Scunthorpe United on August 22nd and – bar his sending off against Gillingham on December 19th –  the former Tottenham Hotspur stopper has rarely looked back.

Archer has made the number 1 position his own with some outstanding displays between the sticks; his double save against Bury at The Den on November 28th was one of the best ever seen at the ground. His athleticism, youthfulness and commanding voice have kept the Lions in games, as well as won them, this season.

Jordan Archer

At the age of 22, the Scot is still in the very early stages of his career – goalkeepers can play into their 40’s, as has been seen many times before – so it makes you wonder just how far he can go.

But that’s for the future. For the here and now, Jordan Archer, you top my list as the best Millwall player of 2015. Long may it continue.

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Millwall FC – Top 5 Games 2015

You could probably say that 2015 has been a ‘year of two halves’ for Millwall Football Club. From the catastrophic first half of the year, which ended in relegation from the Championship to League One, the Lions finished 2015 strongly, ending up just outside the play-off places in the third tier of the English football pyramid.

But, in amongst the glut of games played between January 1st and December 31st, there were five games that stood out for me, ahead of the rest. Want to know what they were? Read on…

(NOTE: Millwall’s 4-0 win at Southend United at December 28th would have featured, but it came too late!)

5) Millwall 2-0 Swindon Town – October 17th

Going into this game, Neil Harris’ Lions had just begun to hit form, after a disastrous start to life back in League One. Consecutive home defeats to Barnet (in the Capital One Cup), Coventry City, Barnsley and Chesterfield had left fans wondering whether Millwall’s record goal-scorer was up to the job of management on a permanent basis.

However, wins over Peterborough United (in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy), Crewe Alexandra, Port Vale and Rochdale had given all associated renewed hope.

October 17th brought struggling Swindon Town to SE16, with the Robins missing eleven players (an entire team) through injury. The bookies saw nothing other than a home win, which duly arrived, courtesy of a 2-0 win, but the manner of the victory left everyone exiting The Den at 5pm speechless.

As good as Millwall were, Swindon… well, weren’t. Comparisons with John Barnes’ Tranmere Rovers side, who Millwall dispatched 5-0 in their League One play-off winning season, were drawn, as Harris’ side racked up a whopping twenty shots, hitting the woodwork twice in the process, to Swindon’s paltry one – a pea-roller that ‘keeper, Jordan Archer, gratefully accepted with minutes left on the clock.

Lee Gregory got the ball rolling in the 19th minute, converting Aiden O’Brien’s cross, before the roles were reversed, as good work from Gregory in the build-up allowed the Irishman to smash home, giving the Lions an unassailable 2-0 lead just seven minutes later.

What followed was quite extraordinary – think attack v defence in training drills – shot after shot after shot came the way of the Swindon goalkeeper, but the Lions could not add a third. If the game would have finished 10-0, I think that would have been a fair reflection.

A truly bizarre afternoon – for the right reasons!

4) Plymouth Argyle 3-5 Millwall – JPT Southern Quarter-Final – November 10th

Nearly a month after the victory over Swindon was a long trip to then League Two leaders, Plymouth Argyle, in the Area Quarter-Final of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy. The winner of this game would be just three games from Wembley – and it was to be the Lions that would advance, with a five-star show, largely thanks to Lee Gregory.

The number 9 headed in Shaun Williams’ cross in the 21st minute to open the scoring, before adding three more in the 43rd, 49th and 58th minutes, becoming the first Millwall player to score four goals in one game since Teddy Sheringham in 1991. Aiden O’Brien added a fifth (assisted by Gregory) in the 66th minute, whilst strikes from Graham Carey and a Jake Jervis double were not enough to see Argyle match Millwall’s power.

The Lions had scored five away from home for the first time since 2001 (a 5-1 rout of Cambridge United) and were in the Southern Semi-Finals of the JPT. For that alone, this game deserves a place on the list, charting at number four.

3) Millwall 2-0 Wigan Athletic – April 14th

Number three takes us back to last season, as the Lions met fellow relegation candidates, Wigan Athletic, in an end of season showdown at The Den.

With the Lancashire club all but down with a defeat, it was to be Millwall that would grant themselves a stay of execution for another fortnight, courtesy of goals from Jimmy Abdou and Mageye Gueye. Of course, both clubs would end the season looking downwards towards League One, but this game produced glimpses of the old Millwall; the Millwall that we know and love, before its heart and soul was ripped out by the regimes of Steve Lomas and Ian Holloway.

The game sparked into life on the hour mark, as Martyn Waghorn – an ex-Millwall loanee – saw red for kicking out at Dan Harding. Fourteen minutes later, Harding was involved once more, as his inch-perfect cross was headed in by Jimmy Abdou. As Jimmy wheeled away in celebration, the 8,000 Lions fans inside The Den joined in, but at the same time, could not believe that the midfielder had scored. Surely the key to any potential survival bid wasn’t Jimmy Abdou?!

Four minutes after the goal, tempers boiled over once more, as Ed Upson and Jason Pearce were both sent off after a mass brawl between nearly every player on the pitch, leaving the game as 10 v 9. It was to be the 10 men of Millwall that would put the cherry on the cake in injury time, as Mageye Gueye’s lung-bursting run down the left-hand side resulted in him slotting the ball home, giving the Lions a priceless three points.

2) Brentford 2-2 Millwall – March 21st

Ok, so the outcome of this one wasn’t as great as it could’ve been in the end, but for me, this game ranks at number two, because it showed two things: 1) it showed how far the team had come in a short space of time under the (then temporary) guidance of Neil Harris and David Livermore, and 2) it showed how tactically clueless Ian Holloway was.

A mere fortnight after the sacking of Holloway, the Lions faced a tough trip across London to Brentford, who were focussing on back-to-back promotions, after coming up from League One the previous season.

The game saw a switch from the tired, useless 4-2-3-1 system to a flat 4-4-2 – and my word, did it work. The first 85 minutes of the game saw Millwall outplay their opponents on their own patch, going two goals to the good through Gregory and O’Brien (who both led the line superbly), before (perhaps) a lack of confidence and know-how to see games out cost them dearly in the final moments, as they let two points slip, as the game finished 2-2.

But, despite that, that afternoon in west London gave everyone hope. There was light at the end of a very long, very dark tunnel. Even though they had let the game slip through their fingers in the final five minutes, nearly every fan stayed behind to give their side a standing ovation off the pitch.

I was never a fan of the 4-2-3-1 system; I thought it isolated the main striker and left large gaps in the midfield, so I was glad that 4-4-2 made its return at Griffin Park. Because of that, because of the performance and because of the day in general, Brentford away makes number two in the list.

P.S. – I appeared on Brentford fans’ podcast, Beesotted, after the game. Check that out here (I’m at the end!)

1) Millwall 2-1 Charlton Athletic – April 3rd

Despite the season ending in relegation, there really is only one game to top the charts, isn’t there?

Near neighbours Charlton arrived at The Den on Good Friday, with their best chance in years to finally put their Millwall hoodoo to bed.

After Lee Gregory’s missed penalty and Chris Solly’s red card, Alou Diarra’s 67th minute goal looked to have given the three points to the Addicks. But, backed by approximately 13,000 fans inside the cauldron of The Den, the Lions turned the game on its head in the final eleven minutes, extending their run against the south London outfit, giving themselves three priceless points in the race to avoid relegation as a result.

Mageye Gueye’s low drive levelled the scores in the 79th minute and with noise levels inside the ground reaching fever pitch, loanee Jos Hooiveld poked home the winner with just three minutes left on the clock, sending three sides of the ground into absolute bedlam.

As with the Wigan game, the result ultimately meant nothing, as Millwall slipped to relegation to League One… but it’s always nice to defeat your rivals, isn’t it?

As a result, that games takes top spot – Millwall’s greatest game of 2015. Here’s to many more in 2016.

(Highlights courtesy of Millwall FC)

Millwall FC – Top 5 Goals 2015

In a year that began with goals hard to come by for Millwall Football Club, the second half of 2015 has seen the Lions rattle in goals for fun, under Neil Harris.

Here are my top 5 of this calendar year…

5) Tony Craig v Peterborough United – 03/10/15

Whilst this was only a simple header from Millwall’s captain from Carlos Edwards’ cross, I feel it deserves a place on the list, due to what it meant at the time.

On what was a crazy day at the ABAX Stadium (London Road, to you and me), the Lions had their backs to the wall from the beginning, as Jimmy Abdou was forced off early on, before the Posh raced into a two-goal lead in the first-half.

In an incredible second-half, six goals were scored, but the one from Craig, to level it at 2-2, sparked wild celebrations amongst all Millwall fans, players and management present. It showed that the side had immense character and a never-say-die attitude – a far cry from the era that had preceded it.

Of course, we went on to lose the game 5-3, losing Ed Upson in the process, along with Abdou, but for a few minutes, the true Millwall was back.

(Skip to 1:03 for the goal)

4) Lee Gregory v Brentford – 21/03/15

At number four is Lee Gregory’s opener at Griffin Park, as the struggling Lions took on Brentford in the Championship in March.

With Brentford flying high and Millwall seemingly destined to spend next season in League One, a landslide home victory was expected. However, Neil Harris’ Lions turned in a performance of the highest quality and if it were not for a lack of concentration and confidence in the last 5 minutes to see a game out, they would’ve claimed a deserved three points at their London rivals’ expense.

With the first-half rolling on, Aiden O’Brien took down David Forde’s goal-kick and laid the ball off to Ed Upson. With one look up, Upson sent a delicious first time ball the way of Gregory, who rounded the Bees’ goal-keeper and slotted home, giving the Lions the lead.

In a game that saw the old Millwall return, this goal was a pleasing reminder of what the team was possible of doing.

(Skip to 0:10 for the goal)

3) Aiden O’Brien (3rd) v Crewe Alexandra – 12/09/15

Into the top three now and at number three is Aiden O’Brien’s hat-trick strike at Gresty Road, Crewe, on September 12th.

Having already scored twice, the ball came the Irishman’s way following a corner and lay-off from Shaun Williams. With superb close control and great skill, O’Brien beat SEVEN Crewe players, before firing past the goalkeeper, completing his first ever senior hat-trick in the process.

(Skip to 1:32 for the goal)

2) Steve Morison v Doncaster Rovers – 27/10/15

The Lions had battered Swindon Town in the home game before the clash with Rovers and had followed that up with an impressive win away at Sheffield United, so expectations were high as Doncaster came to town on October 27th.

Just like the Swindon game, Millwall started with their tails up and raced into a 2-0 lead inside eight minutes, courtesy of a Steve Morison double – but it was his second that received the most praise.

His first was a scrappy affair – Morison charged down an attempted clearance by the Doncaster ‘keeper, deflecting the ball into the net – but his second was pure class.

Just two minutes after opening the scoring, a free-kick from Shane Ferguson found the unmarked striker, who fired home, on the volley, making it 2-0. The technique on the strike was perfect – head over the ball – which rarely left the ground – and right into the corner of the net.

As a result, that goal charts as the second best goal of 2015, from a Millwall perspective.

(Skip to 0:40 for the goal)

1) Aiden O’Brien (2nd) v Crewe Alexandra – 12/09/15

At number one, we return to Gresty Road, Crewe, and to Aiden O’Brien’s first ever senior hat-trick.

Having opened the scoring for the Lions in the first half, O’Brien added a second, as Tony Craig’s throw-in found its way to the Irishman, following a neat sequence of passing between Shaun Williams and Ed Upson.

With his back to goal, around 20 yards out, O’Brien turned on a sixpence and unleashed an unstoppable half-volley into the net, giving the Lions the lead – which they wouldn’t relinquish.

Of course, the striker would go on to complete his hat-trick with a fine goal later in the game, but, for me, that particular goal was sheer class and deserves its spot as Millwall’s best goal of 2015.

(Skip to 1:12 for the goal)

 

The 2009/10 Season – Part One

After play-off heartbreak ended Millwall Football Club’s 2008/09 season with a crashing thud, the Lions squad reconvened for the 2009/10 season with one aim – putting the sorrow of losing out to Scunthorpe United at Wembley firmly behind them and to go one better, securing promotion back to the nPower Championship.

The nucleus of the squad was kept on by manager Kenny Jackett – only Preston Edwards, Danny Senda and Danny Spiller made their way through the exit door – but the attacking options were bolstered with the signing of non-league hot-shot, Steve Morison, from Stevenage Borough, for £130,000. Morison had been the name on the lips of many Football League clubs, due to his goal-scoring exploits down below, but it was to be the Lions that would capture his signature. Goalkeeper, John Sullivan, striker, Jason Price and utility man, Jack Smith all joined on free transfers, from Brighton and Hove Albion, Doncaster Rovers and Swindon Town respectively, too.

The season opened on a baking-hot afternoon in Southampton, live on Sky Sports. Two promotion favourites clashed, as the Saints took on the Lions, battling for the first three points of the season. In the end, the spoils were shared, as Jimmy Abdou cancelled out Matt Paterson’s opener.

Neil Harris rolled back the years on August 11th, as the Lions turned in a performance of some style at home to AFC Bournemouth in the First Round of the Carling Cup, winning 4-0. Gary Alexander opened the scoring, but the Lions’ record goal-scorer bagged the remaining three goals – one an absolute screamer – as Jackett’s men advanced to the next round.

Left-back, George Friend, was added to the ranks before the visit of Carlisle United in the league, which finished goalless, before the Lions claimed their first league win of the season on the 18th, beating Oldham Athletic 2-0, courtesy of strikes from Dave Martin and Harris.

A 0-0 draw at Southend United kept up Millwall’s unbeaten start to the season, but on August 25th, they exited the Carling Cup at the Second Round stage, thanks to a 3-1 (after extra time) defeat to West Ham United. The off-the-field goings on have been documented far too many times to care, so here’s some more about what happened on the field – the Lions took the lead through Neil Harris and were just three minutes away from dumping out their Premier League opponents on their own ground, before Junior Stanislas took the game to extra-time. Unfortunately, the Lions’ tiredness and the Hammers’ fitness came into play in the extra thirty minutes, which saw West Ham come out 3-1 winners. The slender victory after extra time against opponents from two divisions below, who led for the majority of the game, was celebrated like a World Cup win by the east London side, but each to their own…

Jason Price scored Millwall’s goal as the Lions returned to league action on Friday 28th, drawing 1-1 with Brighton and Hove Albion at The Den. September began with a Johnstone’s Paint Trophy tie at Barnet (a 2-0 defeat), with Danny Schofield joining from Yeovil on the same day.

Football - Millwall v Tranmere Rovers Coca-Cola Football League One - The New Den - 09/10 - 3/10/09 Millwall's James Henry celebrates scoring their first goal Mandatory Credit: Action Images / Steven Paston Livepic

Two consecutive 0-2 away defeats at Bristol Rovers and Gillingham caused Kenny Jackett to dip into the transfer market once more, securing the services of James Henry and former Lion, Darren Ward, on loan from Reading and Wolverhampton Wanderers respectively. Those moves from the manager paid dividends, as the Lions finally registered another win on September 19th, defeating Huddersfield Town 3-1, through goals from Chris Hackett, Neil Harris and a first of the season for Steve Morison.

Andros Townsend (yes, that one) settled a London derby at Brisbane Road one week later, as Leyton Orient defeated Millwall by a solitary goal, before a goalless draw at home to Yeovil on the 29th ended September with Jackett’s charges in 12th position in the league.

The visit of relegation-threatened Tranmere Rovers on October 3rd was just the tonic to ignite Millwall’s season – they only lost six games between then and the end of the campaign – as they thumped John Barnes’ no-hopers by five goals to nil. Andy Frampton, Steve Morison and a James Henry double ensured that the Lions were out of sight after just 27 minutes – Henry took home the match-ball and sealed the victory with five minutes to go. Barnes was relieved of his duties shortly after.

Danny Schofield was on target for the first time in a 1-1 draw at Swindon Town on October 10th, before four straight wins rocketed the Lions to just outside the top six.

Paul Robinson opened the scoring at Stockport County, before Harris bagged his second hat-trick of the season in a 4-0 win; that was followed by a hard-fought 2-1 victory in front of 14,165 fans against bitter rivals, Leeds United, with Harris on the score-sheet again, before Gary Alexander netted the winner in the 82nd minute.

A 93rd minute winner from James Henry at home to Colchester United a week later ensured that the Lions would finish the month in 8th place. Anthony Wordsworth opened the scoring for the U’s, but Alan Dunne’s 66th minute equaliser was followed by Henry’s golden goal, sparking wild celebrations from three sides of the 10,036 present.

The fourth win came in the FA Cup, as AFC Wimbledon came to south London on a Monday night for a televised tie. New boxing World Heavyweight Champion, David Haye, was present, as a goalless first-half was replaced by a second-half full of goals – five of them, in fact – as Neil Harris, Danny Schofield and a Jason Price double ensured Millwall’s easy passage through to Round Two.

Boxings new world champion David Haye at the New Den
A wind-assisted free-kick from James Henry handed the Lions a point at Brentford on November 14th. On a blustery, muddy afternoon at Griffin Park, the wind produced its first assist in the ninth minute, as Jon Bostock’s corner found its way past David Forde and into the net. Robinson equalised for Millwall in the 15th minute, but ten minutes later, Bostock had the Bees in front. However, the Lions (and the wind) were not to be denied, as Henry’s free-kick sailed past everyone in the 89th minute.

Bottom-placed Wycombe Wanderers went away with all three points from The Den a week later, as Gareth Ainsworth escaped seeing red for shattering the face of Tony Craig with a kick, in a 0-2 defeat, before 487 hardy souls were witness to a 1-1 draw against Exeter City three days later.

The FA Cup took centre stage once more on November 28th, as non-league Staines Town played host to Kenny Jackett’s men, with both clubs vying for a place in Round Three. It wasn’t the greatest of spectacles – topped off by Steve Morison’s failure to connect with the ball a yard out, with an open goal – but Ali Chaaban’s penalty cancelled out Paul Robinson’s 69th minute opener, meaning it was all back to The Den for a replay and the right to face Derby County in the next round.

Following that horror miss, Morison’s season ignited just three days later, as the Lions took on MK Dons at home. A back and forth game saw Jermaine Easter net twice for the Dons, levelling the scores after Chris Hackett and Andy Frampton had given Millwall a two-goal lead, but, in injury-time, Morison turned his marker from a ball forward and slotted past the goal-keeper, giving Jackett’s charges a priceless 3-2 win in the race for the play-offs.

Having scored just the once previous to that night, Morison netted twenty goals in the second half of the season. See what I mean by a turning point?!

The long trip to Hartlepool United proved a waste of time for the 261 fans that travelled north, as the Lions limped to a 3-0 defeat, but it was back to The Den for two home games in three days as Christmas approached – firstly against Staines in the FA Cup, before a league match with Walsall.

Morison, Jack Smith, Alan Dunne and Danny Schofield all scored once to ensure a safe passage into Round Three of the cup, with the striker at the double against the Saddlers, as Walsall headed back up the M6 pointless.

Soccer - Coca-Cola Football League One - Charlton Athletic v Millwall - The Valley

The final game before Christmas saw the Lions travel the short distance to SE7, as they took on Charlton Athletic in a London derby – one that will live long in the memory of both sets of fans.

On an icy day in south-east London, backed by 3,000 (officially, anyway!) fans in a festive mood, the Lions raced into a 2-0 lead after 27 minutes, courtesy of another Steve Morison double. However, a eight-minute double salvo from the penalty spot saw the Addicks back on level terms – at the expense of Jimmy Abdou.

Abdou – who saw his red card rightly rescinded in the days after the game – was adjudged to been the last man as he attempted to stop a Charlton attack, shortly after Deon Burton had got the home side off the mark from the penalty spot. Burton beat David Forde again on 38 minutes to level the scores, leaving Millwall with an entire half to play with ten men.

Shortly after the whistle blew to begin the second half, Nicky Bailey fired Charlton into the lead with a sweet strike. The Addicks fans thought they had the win sewn up and were finally about to beat Millwall, but Jackett’s men had other ideas. Nine minutes from time, David Martin made it 3-3. However, from an Addicks corner at the other end, with just six minutes left on the clock, Morison completed his hat-trick – in the wrong net. The ball bounced around the box and fell on the head of the unfortunate striker, whose header was flicked past Forde, giving the home side a 4-3 lead. Surely that was it? Think again…

With the whistles from the home fans rising in sound by the second, deep into injury-time, the ball fell to Danny Schofield just inside the box. Jinking past the Addicks defence, the winger fired a low shot underneath the goal-keeper, levelling the scores at 4-4, sending one end of The Valley into bedlam in the process.

The game wasn’t over there; following a Charlton corner, Morison broke away with the ball and charged towards goal. After running nearly the entire length of the pitch, just as he was about to pull the trigger, he lost his footing and the ball ran away. Referee, Mike Jones, blew the whistle on a breathless afternoon shortly after.

The year of 2009 ended with a 2-0 defeat away at Norwich City on Boxing Day, followed by a 2-0 win at home to Bristol Rovers on December 28th.

The Lions ended the year in 9th place, just outside the play-offs. In the second half of the season, Kenny Jackett’s men would storm into the top six and narrowly miss out on avoiding the end of season lottery altogether.